Paula Deen launching online network

Controversial celebrity chef Paula Deen is bypassing television and launching a subscription digital network in September that will feature both short- and long-form video.
June 12, 2014

Celebrity chef Paula Deen, who lost her Food Network show after controversy last year revolving around her admission that she used a racial slur in 1987, is now turning her back on television.

Paula Deen Ventures, a company that received approximately $100 million in private equity investment from Najafi Companies in February, is launching a paid subscription digital network in September that will feature unscripted, long- and short-form content, with Deen’s Southern-style cooking as the star.

Production for the Paula Deen Network began in mid-May at Deen’s new studio in Savannah, Ga., which was designed to resemble the set of her first television series, Paula’s Home Cooking, according to a release. Video content, all of which will be developed internally, makes use of a live studio audience with Deen’s friends and family brought on as guests.

According to Paula Deen Ventures CEO Steven Nanula, the chef “had several offers to return to broadcast television,” but decided to launch the Paula Deen Network in order to have greater access to fans and full creative control of the shows. Deen has 4.2 million fans on Facebook and 1.24 million followers on Twitter, Nanula says.

A preview of the Paula Deen Network will be shared at Paula Deen Live! shows in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. next weekend. While pricing for the subscription network hasn’t been announced, a 14-day free trial will be offered at the time of its launch in September.

(From Stream Daily)

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Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.